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China’s OBOR as a Geo-Functional Institutionalist Project


  • Kaplan Yilmaz

    (Department of Business, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Erzurum Technical University Çat Yolu Üzeri, Erzurum 25070, Turkey)


This study analyses the feasibility of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative from an institutionalist perspective. The initiative is undertaken as a ‘geo-functional institutionalist’ project, and this strengthens its feasibility. Firstly, the initiative aims to institutionalize a new international structure paralleling the existing Western-dominated one through which China could re-organize its position as an ‘agenda entrepreneur’ in the world without any clash with the West. Secondly, the initiative follows a functionalist strategy. It offers a ‘win-win’ functionalist framework without any hegemonic ambition; thus, the initiative attracts the attention of the rest of the world. China also follows a pure functionalist and bilateral/regional way to deal with the heterogeneity problem among the target countries. However, China’s institutionalization attempt might be isomorphic with the existing Western-dominated system in terms of its hegemonic structure due to the cognitive limitations in finding alternatives, and this might ruin the feasibility of the initiative.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaplan Yilmaz, 2017. "China’s OBOR as a Geo-Functional Institutionalist Project," Baltic Journal of European Studies, Sciendo, vol. 7(1), pages 7-23, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:bjeust:v:7:y:2017:i:1:p:7-23:n:2
    DOI: 10.1515/bjes-2017-0002

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